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1527 Tasting Notes

57

A natural foods store in my neighborhood was closing its doors and selling off its stock so I took the oportunity to pick this up along with a buch of herbs and whatnot.

I love iced chais, particularly the one SBUX used to make before they switched to using that flavoured syrup crap. I was expecting something similar in taste when I took a sip…yeah not so much.

Holy cloves and pepper Batman! It takes a second for the flavour of the spices to hit but when they do they overwhelm everything. It’s not as bad as it could have been thanks to the milk and the cane sugar making an attempt to balance out th spices. But what bothers me is that the spices themselves aren’t balanced. Now I know that the recipe for chais can vary but in most cases cardamom is one of the main ingredients – here I can hardly taste it. There might be other spices as well, but the strength of the cloves and pepper hides everything.

Preparation
Iced

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38
drank Blackberry by Lipton
1527 tasting notes

Eh, I’m not impressed. The “blackberry” tastes and smells overwhelmingly fake and it’s more like a fruity-berry flavour with some hibiscus thrown in than anything that resembles blackberries (which I love eating). The tea base is bland and close to flavourless; this could almost be a tisane for all the role it plays in this tea.

It’s not a godaweful tea I guess, but not one I’m going to be running out to go buy.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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62
drank Citrus Mate by Adagio Teas
1527 tasting notes

I’m not surprised Adagio started carrying yerba mate – actually I’m a bit surprised that it took them so long. Yerba mate has been fairly well known in N. America for several years at least – I remember seeing bags of Guayaki in the grocery store since I was a kid – so it’s certainly not a new thing. I am admittedly a sucker for free samples so when Adagio offered the set of four free with a $19 purchase I was sold – even though I found out later that Adagio upped their shipping cost to Canada much to my annoyance.

The dry mate smelled wonderful when I opened the sample bag and took a sniff. It was a fresh, sweet, orangy and lemony scent that made me think of candies. After it brewed it smelled more like those Vicks lozanges – but since those are practically candy anyway it’s not a bad thing. :D

Unfortunately the sweetness of the scent didn’t transfere over to the taste for the most part – the resulting drink’s flavour is sort of a mild, citrusy grassy-herbal flavour with the faintest of bitter edges at the end of each sip. The flavour doesn’t taste fake which is a point in its favor, and except for the very end it feels quite smooth in the mouth.

It resteeps well like most yerba mates do and it held on to its citrus flavour decently. Lack of flavour when resteeping is fault I’ve noticed with most of Adagio’s favoured blends. I’m not sure if it’s the mate base or if they’ve improved their blending methods but this is an improvement certainly.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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79

I’ve never tried any of Good Earth’s teas before but my local grocery store suddenly started carrying them and this flavour sounded unique and intrigued me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – I’ve never eaten the mangosteen fruit before so I have no idea what it smells or tastes like.

OMG the tea smelled almost exactly like fruit punch as it was steeping, I couldn’t believe it. I almost expected it to taste like fruit punch too – and it actually sort of did. It was fruity and moderatly sweet, but there was a bit of a tart bite at the end. This tea does have some hibiscus in it so I’d say that was the cause. I don’t think it’s really detrimental to the flavour though.

This is a tea that would be really good iced (in fact there are recommendations on the box to that effect. I can certainly imagine this tasting fantastic perhaps with a touch of agave nectar to sweeten it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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83

Revisiting this one – I really enjoy that despite the sweet creaminess, the bergamot still has a bit of a bite to it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
LauraR

Tis a shame that SpecialTeas is going out of business.

Meghann M

Laura-thought it was just the wholesale side that was going out of business? I thought the online shop was still going to be open for awhile.

LiberTEAS

From what I understand they will remain in business for the retail customers. It’s just the wholesale business that is closing.

LauraR

Oh that is good to know!

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85
drank Ya Bao by TeaSpring
1527 tasting notes

This tea is quite unique – I opened the package and I wasn’t even sure that it was tea inside! Instead of the usual dark, curled pu-erh leaves, this one is in little buds with very short, tight, scale-like leaves. And instead of being dark they’re a light beige colour. It didn’t even really smell like a pu-erh until I added the water – then I could pick up that earthy odor. It didn’t smell as strongly as some though, and it has these smokey undertones.

The tea that it brewed up was surprisingly pale-looking, a very light, golden shade. Its flavour goes from sweet to earthy back to sweet again in my mouth. The earthy flavour is surprisingly mild (for a pu-erh) and the tea lacks the ‘thickness’ of other teas of that type. TeaSpring described the tea as “earthy with hints of vanilla” and I agree, if you tilt your head and squint the sweetness does seem to having something of a vanilla-ish note to it.

This isn’t a tea you can just chug down and go – this is a tea that needs to be savoured in small little sips. Thanks to whoever decided to put this in the Travelling Teabox!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

That sounds interesting! I think I’ll give that a go the next time I have a TS order…

Jillian

There might even be some left by the time the teabox gets back to you. :)

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70
drank Earl Grey Melange by Custom
1527 tasting notes

Another cup of this blend – I’m still not sure if I want to keep this tea yet or send it off when I mail the TTB out tomorrow. Like I said before, it’s nice but nothing special so I can certainly live without it. If I send it on I’ll probably take it out of its tin and but it in a ziploc bag to save weight (and shipping costs! The person before me paid $33 US).

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
AmazonV

fyi: double ziplock if you can

Jillian

Thanks Amazon, I’ll do that.

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90
drank Jade Tie Guan Yin by TeaSpring
1527 tasting notes

This tea gives off a gorgeous floral aroma when it’s steeping. It makes me think of orchids in the rainforest or a field of wildflowers or something. The flavour is equally fragrant and floral, and it slides along the tongue smoothly and sweetly without tasting too cloying.

The second steeping (@ 2:15) has more body and fullness to it with perhaps a hint of fruit in the beginning of each sip. It’s all very fresh-tasting despite the sweetness.

The third steep (@ 3:15) is a bit less floral and bit more fruity. There’s a hint of greeness coming in, particularly noticable when the tea was hot, and overall I think it’s a bit less sweet than it was in the previous steepings.

The 4th and last steep (@ 4:30) tastes considerably lighter, and I think I’ve reached the tipping point where the quality of each new steep starts being less than the last one – though I could certain still get one or two more half-decent cuppas out of it if not for that fact that it’s bedtime for me.

This is a great Tie Guan Yin, maybe not the very best I’ve tasted, but it comes close. The first two steepings were maybe a bit too floral for my personal tastes, but despite that I can tell that this is a wonderful, high quality tea – it’s in the leaves, the scent, in the flavour, everything.

I got to try this tea thanks to the Travelling Teabox and it’s tempting to keep it. But there’s not much of it left and the teabox is a bit short on oolongs, so I only took the one teaspoon and I’ll send the rest on down the line for the rest of you guys to enjoy it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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83
drank Anji Duet by Adagio Teas
1527 tasting notes

Another offering from the Travelling Teabox (which’ll hopefully go out this weekend). The leaves were long and thin and a mid-green colour, making them look a bit like conifer needles of some sort. The length of the leaves made it diffcult to fit them into the tea scoop so I guesstimated the amount. I don’t have a scale sensitive enough to measure by weight unfortunately.

I found that the first steep was rather weak, likely due to me not adding enough leaves. It began with a slightly vegetal taste at the beginning and changed into a surprisingly sweet taste.

For the second steep I added more tea and steeped it for 3 min, which produced what I’d say was a good, normal-strength brew. The flavour profile was pretty much the same going from greenly vegetale initially to delicately sweet, but I also picked up a slightly bitter herbal taste at the very end. It was quite faint and it didn’t make the tea unpalatable – quite the opposite actually, since I think it kept the tea from tasting too cloying. The whole thing is nice and smooth-tasting without any unpleasent astringency or weird aftertastes.

In my opinion it’s one of the better green tea that I’ve tried – I’d rank it in my top five at least.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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70

Another out of the TTB. I acually didn’t know that an Assam could come in flushes like a Darjeeling tea would – Assam has always been just “Assam” to me. Interestingly, from what I’ve been reading on Google just now, the 2nd flush is actually the more prized rather than the first.

The tea is a considerably lighter than I’m used to Assams tasting. It has a fresh, clear sort of flavour that takes on a sweetish note at the tea cools. But yet the flavour still harkens back to the malty flavours I’m used to getting out of standard 2nd flush Assams – although it’s not as strong.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’m a university student in her twenties who’s currently working her way toward a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree. I love both science and science-fiction and I’m a history nut on top of that. Maybe I should just call myself a nerd and leave it there. ;)

I’ve been drinking tea since I was young but it’s only in the past couple years that I’ve become interested in the good-quality stuff.

I’m also a self-proclaimed Grammar-Nazi, and improper capitalization and spelling invariably makes me twitch (yes, I mean you!)

Location

British-Columbia, Canada

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